The struggle for democracy

Many of the freedoms and rights that we enjoy today were won through long struggles.

Some individuals endured prison, even death, in their battle for the right to vote.

The Franchise Act of 1928 gave men and women equal voting rights for the first time.

Chartists, suffragists and suffragettes campaigned for this right.

  • How did these groups represent themselves?
  • How were they portrayed by others?
  • How did they communicate their cause and gather support?
  • How was change brought about?
  • What methods did they use?
  • What solutions did they propose or find?

The Franchise Bill

This article is from The Times newspaper on the day that the Franchise Bill, later to be the Franchise Act of 1928, was published.

This Bill gave the vote to all women over the age of 21. There was little opposition to the bill in Parliament, and it became law on 2nd July 1928.

Taken from: The Times Newspaper
Date created: 12 March 1928
Copyright: By permission of the British Library Board
Shelfmark: Newspaper Library

Glossary

Bill an act of parliament before it becomes law

Franchise the right to vote

Enfranchise give the right to vote

Electorate the total number of people entitled to voteb

Poor relief money for the poor given by the state

Suffrage the right to vote

The campaign for women's suffrage

Explore a new resource that looks at the campaigning techniques of the suffragists and suffragettes.

 

Chartists

Learn about Chartism, a political movemnt of the 1830s, set up to campaign for the reform of the British electoral system.

 

Suffragists

Discover more about the women's struggle for democracy in the nineteenth century and the formation of the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies.

 

Suffragettes

Learn about the more militant approach adopted by the suffragette movement and the foundation of the Women's Social and Political Union in 1903.